18 Aug 2014

DHB censured after man left infertile

6:31 pm on 18 August 2014

A 20-year-old man who is now infertile did not receive adequate medical care when he was treated for pelvic cancer six years earlier, the Health and Disability Commissioner says.

Commissioner Anthony Hill said in a report released today the problem began when the man received chemotherapy for pelvic cancer when he was 14.

The possibility of infertility was mentioned by a paediatric oncologist before he began his first session of chemotherapy but it was not emphasised, Mr Hill said.

The normal practice was for this to be discussed with a specialist nurse but that person was on leave, and there was no system in place to make sure the job would be done by someone else, he said.

The matter was discussed after the first session of chemotherapy had been completed but it was done without the youth's parents being present.

Mr Hill found the district health board breached the patient's rights.

Steps had been taken to improve procedures at the hospital, he said.